As I said at the end of my last blog entry, we were off to Colorado for a wintry vacation on December 12. I was a little nervous about traveling to snowy places after watching the horror last year in Colorado in December. I know that doesn't happen often, but I wasn't interested in being stuck anywhere. Luckily, we made it there and back with no problems.
Wednesday evening we drove to Beaver Creek to meet my dad and Kay for a few days of relaxation at the The Pines Lodge. We took Tate over to ski school early Thursday morning and got him all set up for a lesson. We thought we would relax at the hotel until it was time to watch them ski. That only lasted until the front desk called to say they had wrecked our car in valet. I hate it when Derek's face is white because if he's worried, I better be freaking out. It wasn't as bad as we thought, but it makes you want to think twice about that additional insurance they offer.
When we finally made it back over to the ski area, the kids were just coming out. I shed a few tears of joy when Tate came out in his little ski suit and helmet and teeny tiny boots! Kay and I just giggled with delight at all of them!!! The ski school had advised us to try to remain incognito so the kids wouldn't get sad and want to leave. So we looked kind of goofy with our hoods up and long lens cameras - like paparazzi at the 3 year old ski school! They practiced running down the hill in their boots, and then with one ski and then finally with two skis. After watching for a while, Tate figured out who we were and told us he wanted to stay longer. Great - he can stay for lunch and more fun, now we just have to make sure all the food is safe and then we can head out again.
When we came back to watch the afternoon ski session, Tate was DONE! They were all getting very tired, and we weren't in good enough hiding so Tate spied us and began crying to leave. Oh great - now we ruined it. He made his last few times down the hill in tears, but still told us he had fun and wanted to try again while on the bus back to the hotel. After naps, we found some great Mexican food (which Derek and I long for as much as snow!) and margaritas. Friday morning it was snowing which makes for an interesting drive in the Colorado mountains, so we all headed out early. Tate has asked several times when we can go again, so maybe we'll be back out to try again! All in all, we had a great time enjoying Papa and Nana.
Since the drive wasn't too bad, we made it back in time for me to surprise a few former colleagues at Sierra Elementary. I had a short visit with my teammates, but it was great to be in that school again and catch up with them for a few minutes. If I hadn't had Avarie on my hip, it would have felt like I never left and it would have been like a typical Friday afternoon - tired and ready for the weekend. Gosh I miss those girls - Hi Kris!!!!
Saturday we met Chuck, Colleen, Kay, Bill and Will for breakfast at Wild Oats. We had a great time catching up and laughing. Tate was thrilled to have an audience and Avarie let Kay hold her while I ate my breakfast. That left us enough time to get changed and head up to Fort Collins for Amy's graduation ceremony. We got to see Amy's apartment and her new puppy. Tate found all kinds of fun things to play with and we didn't have to worry about him breaking anything in a college apartment. The best part was when Tate said he was hungry and Amy opened the cabinet and told him she had Corn Flakes but they were her roommates. We all laughed but Tate was a little concerned at Auntie Amy's bare cupboards. He has a lot to learn before he goes to college, right? It was a great ceremony and we enjoyed a celebration with family and friends afterwards. Congratulations, Amy!!!
Avarie, who does not enjoy our dogs at all, did surprisingly well with the Mattila dogs and even sat and opened presents on Sunday. She was more interested in what Tate opened, much to Tate's dismay. They got to play with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Davin and Auntie Amy who all spoiled them with attention and new toys.
It was a quick trip that didn't allow us to see everyone we wanted to see. Avarie complicated that even more by not sleeping through the night once while we were gone. We did get to sneak a visit in to Ally's house and got time to play with Ella, Deegan and Mike. That was great since I hadn't seen her for a year and a half! The kids had a great time together and I can't wait to see her again!
Now we're home and counting down until Christmas. Take a look at these picture from Colorado.
Sorry, some are repeats from the last entry.
To all our loved ones far away, we send warm wishes for a Merry Christmas!